- Title: From bust to boom, Lisbon tram driver rides the tourism wave ahead of elections
- Date: 3rd October 2019
- Summary: LISBON, PORTUGAL (SEPTEMBER 20, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF TRAM DRIVER PEDRO CAMPOS ARRIVING/ PREPARING TRAM TO BEGIN SHIFT (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) TRAM DRIVER, PEDRO CAMPOS, SAYING: "The salary before the crisis and the salary now is identical. But, during the crisis, a lot was taken away from us. There were lots of cuts. After the crisis, our subsidies were reset, our wage returned to what they were before the crisis." TRAM PASSING BY OTHER TRAM MIRROR SHOWING TOURISTS INSIDE TRAM TOURISTS ON TRAM TRAM ON THE MOVE/ TOURISTS TAKING PHOTOS AS TRAM PASS BY (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) TRAM DRIVER, PEDRO CAMPOS, SAYING: "(There were) many changes. With this great influx of tourists, much has changed. In the historic neighbourhoods, vacant buildings were completely recovered. There are many tourists in the historic neighbourhoods as well." TRAM ON THE MOVE TRAMS IN LISBON DOWNTOWN (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) TRAM DRIVER, CAMPOS, SAYING: "The amount of tourists coming to Portugal and Lisbon also helped the country, (creating) new jobs. Even the company (Carris) reopened vacancies. For 4-5 years the company didn't hire anyone because of the crisis, so (tourism) helped a lot." TOURISTS TAKING PHOTOS AS TRAM PASSES BY TRAM PASSING BY LISBON CATHEDRAL (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) TRAM DRIVER, CAMPOS, SAYING: "I'm not afraid the country will fall back into a crisis. I believe the country will continue to develop." TOURIST AT TRAM WINDOW TRAM IN LISBON DOWNTOWN TOURISTS AT TRAM WINDOWS TRAM PASSING BY TRAM ON THE MOVE TOURISTS INSIDE TRAM (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) TRAM DRIVER, PEDRO CAMPOS, SAYING: "Before the crisis, tourists only came to Portugal in the summer, Easter, and that's it. Sundays on the line 28 (tram service) were quiet. After the crisis, there was a tourism boom in Portugal. (But) in Lisbon it's too much. They (tourists) arrive in Lisbon and want to ride tram 28. They go crazy. They are fascinated. They rush to tram stops to catch the 28. It's crazy. For them, the trams are fascinating." TRAM ON THE MOVE / TRAM DRIVER CAMPOS ANNOUNCING (English, French, Spanish) "CASTLE, CHATEAU, CASTILLO" / TOURISTS ENTERING TRAM CAMPOS OPERATING TRAM TRAM ON THE MOVE VARIOUS OF TRAM IN LISBON DOWNTOWN
- Embargoed: 17th October 2019 11:48
- Keywords: Portugal elections Lisbon tram driver tourism economic crisis
- Location: LISBON, PORTUGAL
- City: LISBON, PORTUGAL
- Country: Portugal
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001AZJKTAF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: As tram driver Pedro Campos rides through some of Lisbon's historic neighbourhoods, the dramatic changes the city has experienced since the financial crisis are evident.
Every day Campos, 43, drives the most iconic tram in Lisbon - the number 28, one of the city's main tourist attractions connecting the Martim Moniz square with the Campo de Ourique neighbourhood.
The tram, which was previously used by locals for their daily commutes, is now packed with eager tourists from far and wide.
Now, tourists line up on the side of the city's narrow roads to get a picture of the yellow tram while others queue for hours to ride it. The tourism industry contributes nearly 20% to Portugal's gross domestic product.
"Before the crisis, tourists only came to Portugal in the summer, Easter, and that's it,â€ he told Reuters before his work day kicked off. "(But) after the crisis, there was a tourism boom in Portugal."
"The amount of tourists coming to Portugal and Lisbon also helped the country," he said, explaining that his company, Carris, started to hire drivers again after nearly five years. "Tourism helped a lot,â€ he added.
The crisis wiped out 700,000 jobs between 2008 and 2013, when the jobless rate peaked at more than 17 percent. Unemployment has since been slashed, to just under 7 percent last year, a 14-year low.
Campos added: "During the crisis a lot was taken away from us."
And even though Campos hasn't received a pay rise since the crisis, his benefits have been reset.
Campos also said the tourism industry helped to change the city's image, with many old, once derelict, buildings now restored.
"I'm not afraid the country will fall back into a crisis," he said. "I believe the country will continue to develop."
Portugal successfully completed its bailout programme in 2014 after introducing a series of harsh austerity measures.
On October 6 Portuguese will go to the polls to elect their new government.
The Socialists, led by Prime Minister Antonio Costa and seeking re-election, are expected to win but might fall short of a majority.
Costa has made the country's economic management under his four years in office a hallmark of his government and now promises he will do more.
The leader of the opposition PSD, Rui Rio, says the Costa government has not done enough and he is hoping for a last minute surge to win the election.
(Production: Miguel Pereira)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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